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An interesting point of view. Let's see if he's right.

Will the Nets Make It to Brooklyn by 2012?


Buried in a Brooklyn Eagle story on economic development in Brooklyn is a quote from the city's deputy mayor, Robert C. Lieber, that suggests Barclays Center might not be ready by Opening Night in October 2012. "You will see the first game played at the new arena at the end of 2012 or no later than 2013," Lieber told a group of construction execs last Tuesday. The Nets' Newark lease be extended for up to two years. For Barclays Center to be open by October, it must be completedy by July, then undergo a four-month "commissioning".

Fifteen People Remain in Arena Footprint


New filings in the condemnation of properties in the Atlantic Yards footprint state there are only 15 people remaining in six households on the 22-acre property. It's unknown how many of the 15 will resist an eviction. The ESDC will ask Judge Abraham Gerges Wednesday to order all the residents and businesses to leave by May 17. The ESDC's "vacant possession" of the property is the final obstacle standing between Mikhail Prokhorov and the Nets. The filings also note that the arena will have to be completed by July 2012 for the Nets to open their 2012-13 season in Brooklyn. "Commissioning" the arena, the final checkout of its various operations, will take four months.

Prokhorov Firm Says It Didn't Break Zimbabwe Rules


Renaissance Capital, the Mikhail Prokhorov-owned firm at the center of Zimbabwe sanctions-busting allegations, has strongly denied it is in violation of any US law, calling recent statements attributed to Congressman William Pascrell, D-NJ, "erroneous". Pascrell accused the firm of having financial interests in the Zimbabwean stock exchange, banks, a cellphone company, mining and a private big-game reserve. The US has strict economic and financial sanctions on Zimbabwe, accused of gross human rights violations. "Contrary to erroneous reports in the press, we have at all times strictly complied with all laws and have no relationship with sanctioned individuals or companies," according to a statement Renaissance provided the Wall Street Journal. Renaissance noted that it takes its responsibilities re: US sanctions "extremely seriously". The Journal also details the history of Renaissance's investments in Africa...and Prokhorov's history with the company. Neither Prokhorov nor the Nets have issued statements on the controversy.

"Brooklyn Nets" or "New York Nets"? Mayor Won't Comment


The new renderings of Barclays Center have the words "Brooklyn Nets" emblazoned at either end of the court. Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn's Boro President, and Bruce Ratner, the outgoing owner, have called them the "Brooklyn Nets" But Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen, who broke the story of Mikhail Prokhorov's interest in the team, has twice written the team will likely be "rebranded" the "New York Nets." Now comes Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg was asked on his weekly radio show if there is a "definitive name that has been chosen? Will they be the Brooklyn Nets? Will they be the New York Nets? Or will they be the New Jersey Nets?" The mayor of all New York wouldn't commit or comment. "I can guarantee you, it’s not the latter, okay? I’ll leave the other things to you."

"The Rock" Adding Nets Jobs


The Devils say they will be hiring 200 new employees to accommodate the Nets' arrival. The usher and ticket-taker staff will jump later this summer. Centerplate, the arena’s concessionaire, also plans to add 150 employees in anticipation of the move. Prudential Center currently employs more than 1,200 people, full and part time.

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